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Pedestrian Bridge over U.S. 1 Opens to Foot Traffic, Dedication Set for September 13


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    Pedestrian-BridgeAfter a tragedy and a decade of fits, starts, planning, and construction, the pedestrian bridge designed to ensure safe passage across busy U.S. 1 at Mariposa Court opened to foot traffic last month, and will officially be dedicated on September 13.

    University of Miami students began lobbying for the overpass 11 years ago, when freshman Ashley Kelly was struck and killed by a car while crossing the busy intersection. The day after her death, the Student Government Senate passed the Ashley Kelly Resolution calling for construction of a bridge at the intersection. In July 2013, Miami-Dade commissioners greenlighted the plan and, at the April 2015 groundbreaking ceremony, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez called the $6 million project “a giant step” in protecting the more than 1,300 pedestrians who cross the intersection every day.

    To reach this point, the bridge had to overcome many obstacles, most notably trying to figure out where the bridge would land on the south side of U.S. 1. When one plan fell through, City of Coral Gables commissioners unanimously agreed to transfer control of Mariposa Court to Miami-Dade County, paving the way for the bridge’s construction.

    “That’s a testament to how important we believe this project is,”former  Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason said at the time.

    A major supporter of public transportation, UM subsidizes its employees who use county buses, Metrorail, and Tri-Rail through its Public Transportation Benefit Program. Many of those employees cross the intersection of US 1 and Mariposa to get to work, and the area is no doubt seeing even more pedestrians now that The Lennar Foundation Medical Center opened across the street.

     

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